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REL Midwest Ask A REL Response

Teacher Workforce

September 2018


What does the research say about the relationship between incentives and teacher recruitment? What does the research say about incentives to recruit in other professions such as health care?


Following an established Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest protocol, we conducted a search for research reports and descriptive studies on the relationship between incentives and teacher recruitment. In addition, we searched for resources related to recruitment incentives in other professions such as health care. For details on the databases and sources, keywords, and selection criteria used to create this response, please see the Methods section at the end of this memo.

Below, we share a sampling of the publicly accessible resources on this topic. References are listed in alphabetical order, not necessarily in order of relevance. The search conducted is not comprehensive; other relevant references and resources may exist. For each reference, we provide an abstract, excerpt, or summary written by the study’s author or publisher. We have not evaluated the quality of these references, but provide them for your information only.

Research References

Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center. (2014). ARCC Teacher Compensation Initiative: Literature review. Charleston, WV: Author. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “In February 2014, the Tennessee State Board of Education (SBE) requested that the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center (ARCC) provide assistance to the SBE’s Basic Education Program (BEP) Review Committee. The SBE requested additional information on the use and effectiveness of market-based teacher compensation and market-based incentives by districts and states to recruit science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teachers. The SBE is interested in using this information to encourage school districts to align teacher salaries with the salaries offered by competing employers to improve teacher recruitment and retention in Tennessee, particularly in areas of shortage. In response to the request for information from the SBE, ARCC consulted with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center), one of the seven content centers in the Comprehensive Center network, to supply research and provide feedback on a review of the report. Identifying a lack of evidence about the impact and costs of such initiatives, GTL Center staff also conducted informal interviews with leaders of emerging market-based compensation initiatives to seek additional, unpublished information. The report includes (1) background information on the BEP Review Committee and the history of teacher compensation reforms in Tennessee, (2) a summary of the literature and evidence on the effectiveness of market pay, and (3) examples of emerging practices, challenges, and lessons learned to support the committee’s decision-making.”

Aragon, S. (2018). Targeted teacher recruitment: What is the issue and why does it matter? (Policy Snapshot). Denver, CO: Education Commission of the States. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Districts across the country are facing severe shortages of teachers—especially in certain subjects (math, science, special education, career and technical education, and bilingual education) and in specific schools (urban, rural, high-poverty, high-minority, and low-achieving). The severity of the teacher shortage problem varies significantly by state, district, school, and subject. As such, many experts argue that efforts to address shortages should be less about recruiting teachers generally and more about recruiting and retaining the right teachers, in the right subjects, for the right schools. Several states have recently enacted targeted teacher recruitment legislation in one or more of the following areas to attract teachers to high-need schools and subjects: research and data collection; state and district innovations; career pathways and grow-your-own programs; preparation and licensure; financial incentives; and retired teachers. This Policy Snapshot explores recent legislation and key areas of teacher recruitment, and provides summary information on past years’ legislative activities.”

Bärnighausen, T., & Bloom, D. E. (2009). Financial incentives for return of service in underserved areas: A systematic review. BMC Health Services Research, 9(1), 86. Retrieved from

From the abstract: “Background: In many geographic regions, both in developing and in developed countries, the number of health workers is insufficient to achieve population health goals. Financial incentives for return of service are intended to alleviate health worker shortages: A (future) health worker enters into a contract to work for a number of years in an underserved area in exchange for a financial pay-off. Methods: We carried out systematic literature searches of PubMed, the Excerpta Medica database, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and the National Health Services Economic Evaluation Database for studies evaluating outcomes of financial-incentive programs published up to February 2009. To identify articles for review, we combined three search themes (health workers or students, underserved areas, and financial incentives)…Conclusion: Financial-incentive programs for return of service are one of the few health policy interventions intended to improve the distribution of human resources for health on which substantial evidence exists. However, the majority of studies are from the US, and only one study reports findings from a developing country, limiting generalizability. The existing studies show that financial-incentive programs have placed substantial numbers of health workers in underserved areas and that program participants are more likely than non-participants to work in underserved areas in the long run, even though they are less likely to remain at the site of original placement. As none of the existing studies can fully rule out that the observed differences between participants and non-participants are due to selection effects, the evidence to date does not allow the inference that the programs have caused increases in the supply of health workers to underserved areas.”

Bauries, S. R. (2012). Proposed legislation for teacher incentives for school excellence and equity. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Pursuant to the recommendations and findings in Dr. Barnett Berry’s policy brief, the proposed set of legislative enactments presented in this paper offers both monetary incentives and positive working conditions requirements likely to further three goals: (a) cause more effective teachers to choose to work in high-need schools and fields, (b) allow teachers already working in such contexts to develop and flourish professionally, and (c) decrease the attrition rate of such teachers from high-need schools, and indeed from teaching in general. The accompanying policy brief contains analyses and recommendations on a variety of topics, each of which adds important contextual information helpful in thinking about incentives for teachers in the areas of recruitment, retention, and effectiveness. The model legislation itself is targeted specifically at goals in these three areas. While some of the policy recommendations in the brief relate to federal, rather than state, efforts and policies, the model legislation that follows is tailored for adoption by states. Accordingly, policy recommendations that appear in Dr. Berry’s brief but that fall outside the focused goal of providing incentives for desirable teacher behaviors are not reflected in the model legislation that follows. The same is true more generally of recommendations in the brief that can only be realized through federal legislation. Nevertheless, all of the recommendations and policy analysis contained in the accompanying brief informed the legal judgments that went into crafting the model legislation. Because it is a model legislation, an effort has been made to choose language that is adaptable to differing state policy environments. Where specific policy language choices have been made that may not be compatible with all states’ constitutional and/or pre-existing policy requirements, a footnote is inserted in order to explain the ways in which the language may be modified.”

Berry, B., & Eckert, J. (2012). Creating teacher incentives for school excellence and equity. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Ensuring that all students in America’s public schools are taught by good teachers is an educational and moral imperative. Teacher incentive proposals are rarely grounded on what high-quality research indicates are the kinds of teacher incentives that lead to school excellence and equity. Few of the current approaches to creating teacher incentives take into account how specific conditions influence whether or not effective teachers will work in high-need schools and will be able to teach effectively in them. Large-scale studies and teacher testimonies suggest that working conditions are far more important than bonuses in persuading teachers to stay or leave their classrooms. National teacher turnover survey data show that teachers who leave because of job dissatisfaction do so for a variety of reasons that can be addressed: low salaries, poor support from school administrators, a lack of student motivation, a lack of teacher influence over decision-making, and student discipline problems. However, current policies, including the one framed by the federally sponsored Teacher Incentive Fund, rarely recognize these realities. We must reward expertise in ways that move beyond recruitment bonuses or pay for improved student test scores. To develop incentive policies that spread teaching expertise and allow for effective teaching will require the careful development of interlocking policies across federal, state, and local agencies. To that end, it is recommended that education policymakers do the following, which are fleshed out in the report: (1) Use the Teacher Incentive Fund to Spread Teaching Expertise for High-Needs Schools; (2) Expand Incentives in Creating Strategic Compensation; (3) Create the Working Conditions that Allow Teachers to Teach Effectively; and (4) Elevate Best Practices and Policies that Spur School Excellence and Equity.”

Bhatt, M. P., & Behrstock, E. (2010). Managing educator talent: Promising practices and lessons from Midwestern states. Naperville, IL: Learning Point Associates. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “This policy analysis explains the need for a system approach to educator talent management. The report analyzes how state policies in the Midwest support the development of effective teachers and leaders throughout their career. The report focuses on state policies in teacher preparation including certification and licensure, recruitment and hiring, induction and mentoring, professional development, compensation and other financial incentives, working conditions, and performance management. This analysis posits that the creation of a systemic approach to educator talent management falls under the purview of states and must be developed by state leadership across agencies and sectors. It offers five recommendations for policymakers to move toward a more systemic educator talent management system. These recommendations are: (1) Assess the status quo of your educator quality policies; (2) Create a cross-organizational team to develop a unified vision and strategic plan for educator quality in your state; (3) Identify all stakeholder groups and partners and specify the level of engagement for each group at every stage of the policy development process; (4) Focus on the development of school leaders as well as teachers; and (5) Ensure that all initiatives to improve educator quality will be assessed on how well they meet the intended goal.”

Chiang, H., Speroni, C., Herrmann, M., Hallgren, K., Burkander, P., & Wellington, A. (2017). Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Final report on implementation and impacts of pay-for-performance across four years (NCEE 2017-4004). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved from

From the abstract: “The Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) provides grants to support performance-based compensation systems for teachers and principals in high-need schools. The study measures the impact of pay-for-performance bonuses as part of a comprehensive compensation system within a large, multisite random assignment study design. The treatment schools were to fully implement their performance-based compensation system. The control schools were to implement the same performance-based compensation system with one exception—the pay-for-performance bonus component was replaced with a one percent bonus paid to all educators regardless of performance. The report provides implementation and impact information after four school years. Implementation was similar across the four years, with most districts implementing at least 3 of the 4 required components for teachers. In a subset of 10 districts participating in the random assignment study, educators’ understanding of performance measures improved over time. However, many teachers were unaware that they were eligible for a bonus, and their understanding did not improve after the second year of implementation. Teachers also underestimated the maximum amount they could earn. The pay-for-performance bonus policy had small, positive impacts on students’ reading and math achievement.”

Cowan, J., & Goldhaber, D. (2015). Do bonuses affect teacher staffing and student achievement in high poverty schools? Evidence from an incentive for National Board Certified Teachers in Washington state. Seattle, WA: Center for Education Data & Research. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “We study a teacher incentive policy in Washington State that awards a financial bonus to National Board Certified Teachers who teach in high-poverty schools. We study the effects of the policy on student achievement and teacher staffing using a regression discontinuity design that exploits the fact that eligibility for the bonus is based on the percentage of a school’s population that is eligible for free- or reduced-price lunches. We find that the bonus policy increased the proportion of National Board Certified Teachers in bonus-eligible schools, through increases in both the number of existing NBCTs hired and the probability that teachers at these schools apply for certification. However, we do not find evidence that the bonus resulted in detectable effects on student test achievement.”

Daniels, Z. M., VanLeit, B. J., Skipper, B. J., Sanders, M. L., & Rhyne, R. L. (2007). Factors in recruiting and retaining health professionals for rural practice. Journal of Rural Health, 23(1), 62–71. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Context: Rural communities, often with complex health care issues, have difficulty creating and sustaining an adequate health professional workforce. Purpose: To identify factors associated with rural recruitment and retention of graduates from a variety of health professional programs in the southwestern United States. Methods: A survey collecting longitudinal data was mailed to graduates from 12 health professional programs in New Mexico. First rural and any rural employment since graduation were outcomes for univariate analyses. Multivariate analysis that controlled for extraneous variables explored factors important to those who took a first rural position, stayed rural, or changed practice locations. Findings: Of 1,396 surveys delivered, response rate was 59%. Size of childhood town, rural practicum completion, discipline, and age at graduation were associated with rural practice choice (P less than 0.05). Those who first practiced in rural versus urban areas were more likely to view the following factors as important to their practice decision: community need, financial aid, community size, return to hometown, and rural training program participation (P less than 0.05). Those remaining rural versus moving away were more likely to consider community size and return to hometown as important (P less than 0.05). Having enough work available, income potential, professional opportunity, and serving community health needs were important to all groups. Conclusion: Rural background and preference for smaller sized communities are associated with both recruitment and retention. Loan forgiveness and rural training programs appear to support recruitment. Retention efforts must focus on financial incentives, professional opportunity, and desirability of rural locations.”

Feng, L., & Sass, T. R. (2018). The impact of incentives to recruit and retain teachers in “hard-to-staff” subjects. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 37(1), 112–135. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “We investigate the effects of a statewide program designed to increase the supply of teachers in designated ‘hard-to-staff’ areas, such as special education, math, and science. Employing a difference-in-difference estimator we find that the loan forgiveness component of the program was effective, reducing mean attrition rates for middle and high school math and science teachers by 10.4 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively. We also find that the impact of loan forgiveness varied with the generosity of payments; when fully funded, the program reduced attrition of special education teachers by 12.3 percent, but did not have a statistically significant impact when funding was substantially reduced. A triple-difference estimate indicates that a one-time bonus program also had large effects, reducing the likelihood of teachers’ exit by as much as 32 percent in the short run. A back-of-the-envelope cost-benefit analysis suggests that both the loan forgiveness and the bonus program were cost effective.”

Goodfellow, A., Ulloa, J. G., Dowling, P. T., Talamantes, E., Chheda, S., Bone, C., & Moreno, G. (2016). Predictors of primary care physician practice location in underserved urban and rural areas in the United States: A systematic literature review. Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 91(9), 1313–1321. Retrieved from

From the abstract: “Purpose: The authors conducted a systematic review of the medical literature to determine the factors most strongly associated with localizing primary care physicians (PCPs) in underserved urban and rural areas of the United States. Method: In November 2015, the authors searched databases (MEDLINE, ERIC, SCOPUS) and Google Scholar to identify published peer-reviewed studies that focused on PCPs and reported practice location outcomes that included U.S. underserved urban or rural areas. Studies focusing on practice intentions, non-physicians, patient panel composition, or retention/turnover were excluded. They screened 4,130 titles and reviewed 284 full-text articles. Results: Seventy-two observational or case-control studies met inclusion criteria. These were categorized into four broad themes aligned with prior literature: 19 studies focused on physician characteristics, 13 on financial factors, 20 on medical school curricula/programs, and 20 on graduate medical education (GME) programs. Studies found significant relationships between physician race/ethnicity and language and practice in underserved areas. Multiple studies demonstrated significant associations between financial factors (e.g., debt or incentives) and underserved or rural practice, independent of preexisting trainee characteristics. There was also evidence that medical school and GME programs were effective in training PCPs who locate in underserved areas. Conclusions: Both financial incentives and special training programs could be used to support trainees with the personal characteristics associated with practicing in underserved or rural areas. Expanding and replicating medical school curricula and programs proven to produce clinicians who practice in underserved urban and rural areas should be a strategic investment for medical education and future research.”

Gray, L., Bitterman, A., & Goldring, R. (2013). Characteristics of public school districts in the United States: Results from the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey (First Look. NCES 2013-311). Jessup, MD: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “This report presents selected findings from the Public School District Data File of the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). SASS is a nationally representative sample survey of public and private K-12 schools, principals, and teachers in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. School districts associated with public schools and library media centers in public schools are also part of SASS. The purpose of SASS is to collect information that can provide a detailed picture of U.S. elementary and secondary schools and their staff. This information is collected through the following surveys: district, school, principal, teacher, and library media center. The 2011-12 SASS uses a school-based sample of public and private schools. The data were collected via mailed questionnaires with telephone and in-person field follow-up. The purpose of this First Look is to introduce new data through the presentation of tables containing descriptive information. Selected findings chosen for this report demonstrate the range of information available on the 2011-12 SASS Public School District Data File. The tables in this report contain counts and percentages demonstrating bivariate relationships. All of the results have been weighted to reflect the sample design and to account for nonresponse and other adjustments.”

Hammer, P. C., Hughes, G., McClure, C., Reeves, C., & Salgado, D. (2005). Rural teacher recruitment and retention practices: A review of the research literature, national survey of rural superintendents, and case studies of programs in Virginia. Nashville, TN: Appalachia Educational Laboratory at Edvantia. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “In 2004, Edvantia, Inc. (formerly AEL) and the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) initiated an effort to identify successful strategies for recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers in rural areas. They reviewed non-rural-specific and rural-specific research and practice literature, surveyed rural superintendents across the nation, and conducted case studies of three Virginia programs that support teacher recruitment and retention. Generally, the literature shows that the problem of teacher shortages varies across geography, demography, and subject area. The schools that find it hardest to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers are those in highly urban and rural areas (especially those serving minority or low-income students) and schools in the Southeast, Southwest, and the West. Especially needed are teachers in special education, bilingual education, math, and science. Edvantia/NASBE survey results and case studies amplify these findings and offer insights into challenges and promising practices in rural teacher recruitment and retention.”

Lazarev, V., Toby, M., Zacamy, J., Lin, L., & Newman, D. (2017). Indicators of successful teacher recruitment and retention in Oklahoma rural schools (REL 2018–275). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Recruiting and retaining effective teachers are serious concerns throughout Oklahoma. The Oklahoma State School Boards Association (2016) reported 500 teacher vacancies at the beginning of the 2015/16 school year, according to a survey of school districts, and 53 percent of respondents said the teacher shortage was worse than in the previous year. For years, Oklahoma rural school district administrators have reported difficulty retaining teachers who could cross state lines for higher pay and lower class sizes or seek employment in other industries. In 2013 the Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction established the Oklahoma Educator Workforce Shortage Task Force to recommend measures to alleviate the ‘significant and widespread shortages’ of classroom teachers. The task force was succeeded in September 2015 by the Teacher Shortage Task Force, which was established to identify and recommend successful strategies for curbing the statewide teacher shortage crisis and which recommended several strategies for placing highly qualified teachers in all Oklahoma classrooms. The state’s teacher shortage, as well as the unique context of rural schools in Oklahoma, led members of the Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance to seek information about factors associated with successful teacher recruitment and retention in Oklahoma. The goal was to develop effective strategies for recruiting and retaining teachers in rural schools. In response, this study identified factors that can support teacher recruitment and retention, particularly malleable factors that can be controlled through policies and interventions. This report refers to these factors as indicators of the characteristics of teachers or districts that predict successful teacher recruitment and retention. While associations between indicators and outcomes cannot be interpreted as causal—a specific indicator is not necessarily the cause of a related outcome—the results from this study can be used to pinpoint potential problems and inform future policies. The results can also provide a rationale for experimental evaluations of programs aiming to improve teacher recruitment and retention. The study first explores patterns of teacher job mobility in Oklahoma, including teachers’ probability of remaining employed in the same district for a given number of years, the proportion of teachers who leave rural school districts and move to another rural school district, the proportion of teachers who receive tenure, and the one year retention probability for each successive year of employment. Patterns of teacher job mobility are examined for any differences between rural and nonrural school districts. The study was designed to identify teacher, district, and community characteristics in rural Oklahoma that predict which teachers are most likely to be successfully recruited (defined as having completed a probationary period of three years and obtained tenure in their fourth year of teaching) and retained longer term (defined as the duration of employment of tenured teachers in a given school district). This study covers the 10 school years between 2005/06 and 2014/15 and uses teacher and district data from the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahoma Office of Educational Quality and Accountability, and community characteristics from data in federal noneducation sources and publicly available geographic information systems from Google Maps.”

Maranto, R., & Shuls, J. V. (2012). How do we get them on the farm? Efforts to improve rural teacher recruitment and retention in Arkansas. Rural Educator, 34(1). Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Rural schools, particularly high poverty rural schools, often have difficulty hiring and retaining qualified teachers. Here, we discuss three programs the Arkansas Department of Education has used to attract teachers to teacher Geographic Shortage Districts (GSDs) through material incentives. Unfortunately, none of the programs have had much success, perhaps in part since the funding offered was inadequate to attract new teachers to isolated communities. Additionally, we analyze the use of materialistic and non-materialistic incentives on the websites of all school districts designated as GSDs by the Arkansas Department of Education. Few GSDs display non-materialistic appeals that might entice individuals to seek out employment in the district, with the notable exception of KIPP Delta, the only charter school on the list, which has much more success recruiting teachers. We end with suggestions for policymakers and school district officials seeking to attract teachers to geographic shortage areas.”

Podolsky, A., & Kini, T. (2016). How effective are loan forgiveness and service scholarships for recruiting teachers? Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute. Retrieved from

From the abstract: “Recruiting and retaining talented individuals into the teaching workforce, especially in schools in underserved urban and rural communities, is challenging when college graduates face more lucrative professional alternatives and often carry significant student debt. Two promising approaches to attracting and keeping teachers in the profession are to offer loan forgiveness or service scholarships to prospective teachers—similar to what the medical profession has used to attract practitioners into underserved communities. Existing research on teacher and physician loan forgiveness and service scholarship programs suggests that, when the financial benefit meaningfully offsets the cost of professional preparation, these programs can successfully recruit and retain high-quality professionals into fields and communities where they are most needed.”

Steele, J. L., Murnane, R. J., & Willett, J. B. (2010). Do financial incentives help low‐performing schools attract and keep academically talented teachers? Evidence from California (NBER Working Paper No. 14780). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “This study capitalizes on a natural experiment that occurred in California between 2000 and 2002. In those years, the state offered a competitively allocated $20,000 incentive called the Governor’s Teaching Fellowship (GTF) aimed at attracting academically talented, novice teachers to low-performing schools and retaining them in those schools for at least four years. Taking advantage of data on the career histories of 27,106 individuals who pursued California teaching licenses between 1998 and 2003, we use an instrumental variables strategy to estimate the unbiased impact of the GTF on the decisions of recipients to begin working in low-performing schools within two years after licensure program enrollment. We estimate that GTF recipients would have been less likely to teach in low-performing schools than observably similar counterparts had the GTF not existed, but that acquiring a GTF increased their probability of doing so by 28 percentage points. Examining retention patterns, we find that 75 percent of both GTF recipients and non-recipients who began working in low-performing schools remained in such schools for at least four years.”

Yeager, V. A., & Wisniewski, J. M. (2017). Factors that influence the recruitment and retention of nurses in public health agencies. Public Health Reports, 132(5), 556–562. Retrieved from

From the abstract: “Objective: Given challenges to recruiting nurses to public health and the growth in national policies focused on population health, it is crucial that public health agencies develop strategies to sustain this important group of employees. The objective of this study was to examine factors that influence nurses’ decisions to work in public health agencies. Methods: This cross-sectional study examined perspectives of nurses who worked in state and local public health departments and responded to the 2010 Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice’s survey of public health workers. We calculated the mean rating of each recruitment and retention factor for nurses and non-nurses separately and compared differences by using t tests. We then used multivariate regression analysis to examine differences in ratings by role (ie, nurse or non-nurse). Results: After controlling for personal and organizational characteristics, the influence of 5 recruitment factors was significantly stronger among nurses than among non-nurses: flexibility of work schedule (P < .001), autonomy/employee empowerment (P < .001), ability to innovate (P = .002), specific duties and responsibilities (P = .005), and identifying with the mission of the organization (P = .02). The influence of 5 retention factors was stronger among nurses than among non-nurses: autonomy/employee empowerment (P < .001), flexibility of work schedule (P < .001), specific duties and responsibilities (P < .001), opportunities for training/continuing education (P = .03), and ability to innovate (P = .008). Conclusions: Some factors that influence nurses to begin and remain working in local governmental public health agencies, such as flexible schedules and employee autonomy, are factors that governmental public health agencies can design into positions and highlight when recruiting from health care organizations, private industry, and academia.”

Additional Organizations to Consult

Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at American Institutes for Research –

From the website: “The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) is dedicated to supporting state education leaders in their efforts to grow, respect, and retain great teachers and leaders for all students. The GTL Center continues the work of the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (TQ Center) and expands its focus to provide technical assistance and online resources designed to build systems that:

  • Support the implementation of college and career standards.
  • Ensure the equitable access of effective teachers and leaders.
  • Recruit, retain, reward, and support effective educators.
  • Develop coherent human capital management systems.
  • Create safe academic environments that increase student learning through positive behavior management and appropriate discipline.
  • Use data to guide professional development and improve instruction.”


Keywords and Search Strings

The following keywords and search strings were used to search the reference databases and other sources:

  • Descriptor: “incentives” descriptor: “teacher recruitment”

  • “national health service corps” incentive

  • “healthcare workforce rural USA”

Databases and Search Engines

We searched ERIC for relevant resources. ERIC is a free online library of more than 1.6 million citations of education research sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). Additionally, we searched IES and Google Scholar.

Reference Search and Selection Criteria

When we were searching and reviewing resources, we considered the following criteria:

  • Date of the publication: References and resources published over the last 15 years, from 2002 to present, were included in the search and review.

  • Search priorities of reference sources: Search priority is given to study reports, briefs, and other documents that are published or reviewed by IES and other federal or federally funded organizations.

  • Methodology: We used the following methodological priorities/considerations in the review and selection of the references: (a) study types—randomized control trials, quasi-experiments, surveys, descriptive data analyses, literature reviews, policy briefs, and so forth, generally in this order, (b) target population, samples (e.g., representativeness of the target population, sample size, volunteered or randomly selected), study duration, and so forth, and (c) limitations, generalizability of the findings and conclusions, and so forth.
This memorandum is one in a series of quick-turnaround responses to specific questions posed by educational stakeholders in the Midwest Region (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin), which is served by the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL Midwest) at American Institutes for Research. This memorandum was prepared by REL Midwest under a contract with the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Contract ED-IES-17-C-0007, administered by American Institutes for Research. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.